I was going to use this interesting article from the New York Times: Cancer Survivors Celebrate Their Cancerversary, as a basis for last month’s regular post, but then I got my PSA results and things went to hell in a hand basket. After reading the article, I originally wrote:
Regular readers of this blog know that I’m one to remember dates and anniversaries, but I generally fall into the category of reserved celebration, I guess. Yes, I’m around to hit another milestone, but that damned little cancer recurrence cloud will be over my shoulder for the rest of my days.
Little did I know that that cloud would begin to grow in size, mirroring the growth of my PSA.
It’s been a difficult five weeks, and I’ve struggled with what to write for this post. That’s because I’m still struggling to figure out what’s happening and just how I’m responding to it. It’s hard to articulate something when you haven’t exactly figured out what you’re feeling. It’s been all over the place.
The raw emotions have subsided, but there have been two lasting side effects of the notion that my PSA is creeping closer to recurrence.
First, it’s been as though I’ve taken a bad spill and the wind has been knocked out of me. I feel as though the I’ve been sprawled out on the ground, disoriented, for the last month, trying to regain my breath before I can get back up and function normally again.
Part of me wants to simply stay on the ground, but the other part of me is trying to snap me out of that mindset and to engage in life at full speed ahead. As the surgeon, John Healy, in the NYT article said: “Everybody dies,” he said. “But not everybody lives. I want you to live.”
So do I.
The second side effect has been that the anger remains at various intensity levels. My fuse is generally shorter and I don’t tolerate silly very well at the moment. And “silly” can be even the littlest of things. I really have to watch how I interact with those around me so as not to have them bear the brunt of my frustration with my current situation. I’m not the same person I was in March.
Keeping this hidden from those around me may be adding to that sense of anger, so perhaps it’s time that I come clean with them. And if it doesn’t alleviate it, at least they’ll know why I’ve turned into someone who will give Jeff Dunham’s curmudgeonly character, Walter, a run for his money.
My baseline bone scan is scheduled for 19 May, a week from tomorrow. I’m not overly worried about it at the moment. Of course, I’m sure there will be more than a twinge of “what if” while waiting for the results.
I just realized that we didn’t schedule a follow-up visit with the urologist to review the results. I’ll have to get that sorted.